As fight fans almost immediately after an event we wonder what is next for everyone involved in last nights contests. Due to obvious variables in the fight game, it is often unpredictable on where each fighter will go next in their career. Here we will take a look at the notable names and who they will fight next!
Fabricio Werdum is in a tough spot in the heavyweight division. The #2 ranked heavyweight was scheduled to fight Derrick Lewis, but Lewis was forced to pull out due to continued back issues. Walt Harris stepped up to the plate to take on Werdum and Werdum was able to secure a takedown early in the first round and ended up securing the submission to end it in round one. After the fight, Werdum called for a rematch with heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic. I have to say I personally do not think this is a fight he will get because Francis Ngannou is facing Alistair Overeem come UFC 218 in Detroit. With Overeem holding a very recent win over Werdum I believe the UFC is waiting to see what happens in Detroit and the winner of that fight will get the next crack at UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic. Looking at the rankings there is really not too many fights for Werdum, which leads me to believe he will end up taking on up and coming heavyweight Alexander Volkov.
Prediction: Fabricio Werdum vs Alexander Volkov
The “Tazmexican Devil” put up a valiant effort against arguably the pound for pound best to ever fight Demetrious Johnson. Ultimately, Borg lost via an incredible submission from Demetrious in the fifth round. Looking at the landscape of the flyweight division currently the fighters one above (Henry Cejudo) and one below (Sergio Pettis) Borg in the rankings are scheduled to fight each other. With Joseph Benavidez, who is currently ranked #1 contender in the Flyweight division, being sidelined by injury, I expect Borg to take on Wilson Reis next.
Prediction: Ray Borg vs Wilson Reis
First things first hats off to Demetrious who accomplished something we will most likely never see again in the UFC. Regardless of the flyweight division being considered one of the thinner weight classes in the UFC, his 11 straight title defenses are truly remarkable. Many people, me included would love to see Demetrious go up and contend for the Bantamweight Title after Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw’s showdown in Madison Square Garden. Ultimately, I believe that Demetrious will continue to build on the record that he has already set in the flyweight division and take on the winner of Henry Cejudo vs Sergio Pettis.
Prediction: Demetrious Johnson vs Henry Cejudo/Sergio Pettis winner
Despite the loss, I personally thought that the first round against Tony Ferguson showed the true talent this young man has. At only 25 years of age, you can see that plenty of growth is there for Kevin Lee. After the fight, Lee had mentioned how the weight cut had taken a lot out of him in addition to a staph infection that he had been dealing for this fight week. Lee had hinted at possibly making the move up to welterweight but was really pushing for the UFC to adopt the 165-pound weight class and to move welterweight to 175 pounds. This was something that was put in the California State Athletic Commissions ten-point plan back in May, but UFC president Dana White has been reluctant to the idea of adopting the new weight class. Despite all this, I think after taking some much needed time off as Lee has fought four times in the last 11 months I believe Lee will return to the lightweight division. With Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje currently being booked for December, Nate Diaz holding out until he gets his trilogy fight with Conor McGregor, and the unknown status of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s health, I feel Lee will fight #4 ranked Edson Barboza come spring of 2018.
Prediction: Kevin Lee vs Edson Barboza
Last but definitely not least, is the new Interim Lightweight champ, Tony Ferguson. Ferguson now on a 10 fight win streak after his victory over Kevin Lee is now next in line to challenge for the Lightweight title against Conor McGregor. I know there is the threat that McGregor could always look for the “money fight” with a Nate Diaz trilogy, but I feel Conor is finally feeling the heat to, in the words of Ferguson, “defend or vacate”. Throughout Conor’s career, he has always seemed to give the fans the fight that they wanted next. After UFC 216, I believe the fans are really starting to sway towards wanting him and Tony Ferguson to scrap next. Also, I do not think the want for a trilogy with Diaz goes away even with a loss against Ferguson. Knowing the amazing lead up to the last two fights between Diaz and McGregor, the third fight between them could happen at any time and still do great business. No one in the lightweight division is more deserving of, in Conor’s words “red panty night” more than Ferguson. Ferguson is on a four-year climb through the lightweight division in which he has gone through some of the best the division has to offer. Tony Ferguson vs Conor McGregor to unify the belts has to happen and I believe it will.